They've yet to strike a deal with MySpace, but indie global rights agency Merlin has just signed a content deal with iMesh , the third largest music subscription service in the US, who are soon to expand operations into Europe. Merlin member labels, which represents 9% of the US market, will now be available through iMesh’s subscription and download services including Bearshare.
The deal also encompasses a settlement for previous usage of member tracks on the formerly unlicensed Lphant P2P network which was purchased by iMesh.
From the press release:
Said Charles Caldas, Merlin CEO, “We are pleased that iMesh inherently recognised the value of the Merlin repertoire in expanding their footprint to the global market, and are happy to be involved in working with them to license and legitimise the Lphant P2P network. It shows again that the tremendous efficiency and global reach that Merlin provides those wishing to license the world’s most exciting and commercially valuable independent repertoire has been recognised.”
Commented Talmon Marco, President and Chief Marketing Officer of iMesh, “We have long understood the importance of independent music. This agreement adds substantially to the availability of that content to iMesh users. The agreement is an extension of the understanding of iMesh and supporting labels, that music fans will maintain loyalty to a site when revenue is directed to content creators. In this instance, we add Lphant to the list of iMesh services.”
Announced at MIDEM in 2007, Merlin opened for business in May 2008 when it received its members’ mandate. Since then Merlin has been actively involved in negotiations with a number of digital services and in October 2008 announced its first deal with the newly launched music streaming service Spotify. With over 13,000 members Merlin represents the largest and most important collection of independent music rights in the world, with a US market share of over 9%, equivalent to that of the smaller majors.